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No wait, not done yet after all

Dara pointed me at this tumblr that has a brand spanking new helping of excerpts off the forums, with snark directed at “the Young” in general and at Mary Robinette Kowal in particular. I particularly note the parts dismissing “the Young” as “incapable of independent thought” and asserting how we’re probably all pirating C.J. Cherryh’s books anyway. And the parts accusing Ms. Kowal of being a hypocrite due to her wardrobe choices in pictures on her site and when she attends science fiction conventions–because, of course, a woman couldn’t possibly be really interested in feminism if she dresses in any manner whatsoever that might approach making her conventionally attractive, right?

Now, I could point out that if you are of the mind that people who aren’t in your organization shouldn’t be commenting on the Internet about your organization’s activities, you might want to avoid posting things on publicly-readable forums. Or on Facebook. Which, last I checked, is part of the Internet.

And I could point out that criticizing a feminist for her wardrobe choices is yet another belittling, demeaning tactic, similar to attacking her for inflammatory language, meant to distract from her actual points.

I could even point out that dismissing an entire segment of people who disagree with you as “the Young” is perhaps not the wisest of strategies, because it’ll inevitably lead to our deploying this and this and this.

But mostly I’m just looking at the bit on that tumblr that snarks on Jim Hines’ cover parodies as making SFWA look “silly”, and all I can think is, um, actually, no folks, you’re doing that all by yourselves.

But what do I know? I’m just “the Young”.

P.S. Yikes, the Daily Dot linked to me in their post about this SFWA flap. Hi, people coming over from the Daily Dot! For those of you who may have missed it, their earlier writeup about all this is over here.

ETA: BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! I saw John Scalzi put this post up tonight, and really, there’s nothing I can add to that, because it pretty much speaks for itself.

I’ll also point out Cora Buhlert’s commentary here, noting other commentary I hadn’t found yet, and expressing her general bemusement over the whole thing.

Also, this post over here called “Sci-Fi and Sexism”, by blogger and reviewer Mandaray, addresses exactly why this kind of thing needs to keep getting discussed–because the sexism in SF/F as she was growing up kept putting her off the genre.

ETA #2: Dara has her own next post up now, addressing how, hilarity aside, there’s more being lost here.


Last round of SFWA commentary–this time

Stick a fork in it, looks like this one’s pretty much done.

Following the SFWA presidential bulletin that the petition that caused a tempest in the SFnal teapot was over a thing that isn’t even going to actually happen, I saw three links of interest on the matter that basically appear to be wrapping it up.

Jim Hines has a nice thoughtful post up trying to understand what motivated a lot of people to sign the thing in the first place. It’s worth looking at, just on that basis alone.

John Scalzi has cogent commentary on things to keep in mind regarding petitions and free speech. He also points out that he personally knows a LOT of the signers on the petition and wasn’t going to cotton to picking on them. Fair enough.

And Victoria Strauss points out that SFWA is a force for good in a lot of ways–pointing out quite correctly that Writer Beware itself is a critical resource for all writers, not just the ones writing SF/F. She’s optimistic that these upheavals the organization is going through are a sign of it improving.

I’d like to hope she’s right, if nothing else because it just saddens me to think of an organization dedicated to the betterment of the careers of writers of SF/F–the genre that should be looking forward, not back–can get embroiled in crap like this over and over. I mean, I still don’t qualify to join so it’s not like I have any real horse in this race, but still. I’d like to see them move on from this to the betterment of everyone in the organization, and everyone who might like to join it in the future.

We’ll see what happens next and how the rest of the year proceeds for all involved.

ETA: Dara’s wrap-up post on the matter is over here.


SFWA Facepalm, the 2014 Edition: Further updates

I stuck this on the tail end of my last post, but just to call it out again here, the president of SFWA has announced that the petitions going around are a lot of sound and fury, signifying ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I.e., all the brouhaha that crowd has tried to start is over something that SFWA isn’t even going to do.

Meanwhile, here, have another roundup of commentary! I particularly like these links because they’re saying something I’ve said before myself, which is to say, SF/F as a genre really needs to stop snarking on romance.

H/t to Cheryl on Google+ for alerting me to Mr. Hines’ post.


I was wrong, I DO have more to say about the current SFWA-related brouhaha

First, let me say that a couple of people have pointed out to me, quite correctly, that this particular brouhaha is not actually on the shoulders of the people currently in charge of SFWA–but rather, on those of the signatories of the petition going around. So this is me acknowledging that. Everything I’ve seen so far indicates that SFWA themselves are trying to do the right thing here, as a direct result of last year’s mess, and now they’re getting called out on it because apparently certain persons think last year’s mess is what they actually want? Or something? I DON’T EVEN KNOW.

But what I do know is this. It’s come out that the originator of this petition, back in 2007, took it upon himself to try to be satirical about someone else’s post complaining about the male-heavy Hugo ballot. And by “try”, I mean FAIL MISERABLY. He threw out those inflammatory first few paragraphs, and then goes into “HA HA I WAS ONLY KIDDING if I really meant that the feminists would get all angry at me! Also, if you thought I really meant that you’re crazy!” mode. And then proceeds to castigate the poster of the complaint about the Hugo ballots, taking the tactic of “why is it okay for her to use that language about a male-heavy ballot, and it’s not okay for me to do the same about a female-heavy one?”

In other words: BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ?

Y’know what, Chuckles? You were right. Feminists will get angry at you, but not for the reasons you think.

Because here’s the thing. We see this BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ? thing all the damn time. It’s a diversionary tactic to try to silence a woman speaking out. Because OHNOEZ HER LANGUAGE IS INFLAMMATORY, and that’s way, way more important than the actual point she was trying to make. I got news, Chuckles. This diversionary tactic is still bullshit. It’s the tactic of a group in power to make the group NOT in power keep their place.

Now okay, yeah, that post was back in 2007, so you could argue it’s old news. But you’d be wrong, given that now, seven years later, we’re still having these arguments.

And I for one am deeply saddened at seeing the list of people who think this chucklehead is worthy of their support.

Dara has her thoughts on the matter here.

ETA: It has just been brought to my attention that as per this statement from Mr. Gould, president of SFWA, the petitioners’ uproar is over something that isn’t even happening.


SFWA Explodes IV: The Revenge of SFWA

Got up this morning to see there’s yet another SFWA explosion. How many are we up to now, then?

There’s a petition going around, it seems. A petition protesting that the SFWA Bulletin is instituting procedures to try to avoid things like what happened this past summer, during the LAST round of SFWA explosions. Apparently, some people out there are still upset that people might, just might, be justifiably cranky about sexism in the genre.

I first spotted the news when James Nicoll posted about a Twitter thread on it, here. Then I went out to run some morning errands, and when I came back, Dara reported that the petition alluded to in that post had in fact surfaced. James talks about it here, linking in turn to Radish Reviews’ in-depth post.

Radish Reviews has reported that there are in fact two versions of this thing floating around, and addresses both of them here. I read them. And I knew I was in for some hurting the instant I saw the phrase “politically correct” bandied about right out of the gate. In the petition TITLE, even, as well the first paragraph.

Oh, and it gets more fun from there. I particularly like how scare quotes are thrown around “sexism” and “offensive”. And by like, I actually mean, if I facepalm any harder I’ll give myself a concussion.

I’d rant further on this if I could think of anything to say that I haven’t posted about a dozen times already–about how, if the first words out of your mouth are to cry “political correctness!”, that chances are very, very high that you are in fact part of the problem. But then, people who are inclined to cry “political correctness!” aren’t going to put much credence in what I have to say anyway.

So I’m going to simply stick with noting that yeah, I’m still feeling pretty much at peace with my having decided that I’d just as soon stay out of any organization that continues to be this toxic.

Further commentary on the matter:


This just in: SFWA boots unspecified member

Just saw this over on James Nicoll’s LJ. He links off to this official notice from SFWA in which they say that an unspecified member has been expelled from the organization.

The now-former member in question being, of course, Vox Day. He has a post up about it on his own site (to which James also links), but I ain’t linking to that guy. Click over to James on LJ or James on Dreamwidth if you’d like to actually see what Mr. Day had to say about it.

(I did actually read his post, which was surprisingly bile-free. But I didn’t look at the comments, because I like not running up my blood pressure.)

And I daresay this would also explain this post of Mr. Scalzi’s.

As I’ve said before, I am not actually a member of SFWA so I have no actual horse in this race. But I do feel like they did the right thing, on the general principle of making the organization more welcoming to people who aren’t raging egregious asshats.

ETA: Also! My belovedest of Daras has an excellent musical contribution of her own to contribute to this topic.

Movies, The Internet

Post-vacation link roundup

Here’s a fun thing I apparently missed while I was on vacation: some nimrod made a “SFWA Fascists” Twitter account attacking the various notable SF/F authors who have been speaking out against racism and sexism–in other words, the people who are speaking up for treating everybody like people. Names like Scalzi and Kowal and Hines and Jemisin are on the list, and others have started calling this the roundup of People You Should Be Following On Twitter. Props to them!

And the maddest of mad props to Mr. Hines, who, being awesome, has responded beautifully.


In other news, The Mary Sue has reported that Lionsgate is scrambling to distance themselves from Orson Scott Card. They’re even going to host a LGBT benefit premiere for the movie.

How nice for them. I’m still not going to see the movie.

I’ve seen quite a few people opining that to specifically avoid seeing this movie because of Card is ill-advised, on the grounds that Card probably wasn’t even involved once his rights were optioned, and also because boycotting it would hurt the pro-LGBT people at Lionsgate and who have worked on the film. I don’t buy it, and I remain pretty damned sure that not one person, from Harrison Ford clear down to the catering staff, is going to be financially harmed by my failure to buy a ticket. They’ve gotten paychecks. They’re not going to starve.

I’ve also seen people opining that there are way better ways to assert one’s support of LGBT causes than by inaction–i.e., not seeing a movie. I don’t buy that either. For one thing, speaking up publicly about why you choose to not do a thing is itself an action. For another thing, it is inappropriate to assume that people avoiding the movie aren’t doing other, more active things in support of LGBT rights. Like, say, donating money, which Dara and I have done on a rather regular basis.


Meanwhile, in other news of Movies I Am Specifically Avoiding This Summer, I’d also like to call out this excellent little commentary as to why exactly Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan in the current Trek flick is problematic.

(Yes, I’ve heard the criticism pointing out that casting Montalban to play a Sikh in the original series wasn’t exactly ethnically appropriate either. But moving from that to casting a white guy was not, in my humble opinion, a step in the right direction.)


However, to shift over to news of Movies I’m Feeling a Lot More Hopeful About, I’m very much looking forward to seeing Despicable Me 2 and Pacific Rim as soon as possible. And I shall direct you post-haste over to who provides this helpful guide to Knowing Your Kaiju.

Because it is critical, CRITICAL I SAY, to know which monster is about to stomp your city into rubble.